The prostate is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system.

The tubes from the testicles carry sperm to the prostate. The prostate secretes the seminal fluids that mix with the sperm.

During ejaculation, the prostate squeezes this fluid into the urethra, and it’s expelled by the ejaculatory duct as semen.

Where is the Prostate?

The prostate is located below your bladder and in front of the rectum in the male pelvis. It surrounds part of the urethra, the tube in your penis that carries urine from your bladder.

How Large is the Prostate?

The prostate is a variable-sized gland located in. It is usually the size of a walnut measuring 3-4 cm in length and 3-5 cm in width. On average the gland weighs about 20g.

Prostatic Fluid

The milky fluid produced by the prostate makes up around 30% of the total fluid ejaculated (the rest is sperm and fluid from the seminal vesicles).

Prostatic fluid protects sperm, helping them live longer and be more mobile. It contains a number of ingredients, including enzymes, zinc, and citric acid.

One of the enzymes in the prostatic fluid is prostate-specific antigen (PSA). After ejaculation, PSA makes thickened semen runnier, helping sperm travel through it more easily, increasing their likelihood of successfully fertilizing an egg.

Can the Prostate Grow?

As you age, the prostate can become larger. This a normal part of aging for most men.

By the time men reach age 40, a prostate might have gone from the size of a walnut to the size of an apricot. By the time you reach 60, it might be the size of a lemon.

Because it surrounds part of the urethra, the enlarged prostate can squeeze that tube. This causes problems when men urinate.

Typically, you won’t see these problems until you’re 50 or older, but they can start earlier.

What Conditions Affect the Prostate?

The three most common problems that affect the prostate are:

  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate
  • da Vinci Surgery